But in 2020, the overwhelming sentiment is "it could have been worse."
During the depths of the first peak of Covid-19 in the spring, sales of new vehicles collapsed as auto plants shuttered and many dealers were forced to close showrooms.
Power forecast retail sales would decline by as much as 80% in April, leading to likely near-recession sales levels for the year.
But retail sales to consumers rebounded far faster than anyone forecast.
"A big comeback story of 2020 is without a doubt the recovery of retail vehicle sales, which have nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds' executive director of insights.
Nick Woolard, Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds